Michael Harthorne
Workers from Mortensen Construction work on the exterior of the Swedish/Ballard's new Medical Office Building, which will be opening in November. CLICK IMAGE FOR A TOUR OF THE NEW BUILDING.

SLIDESHOW: First look at new Ballard/Swedish building

Swedish Medical Center's new five-story, 90,000-square-foot Medical Office Building on its Ballard campus is taking shape and headed for an early-November grand opening.

Construction started on the Medical Office Building in September 2009. The building, located at the intersection of Market Street and Tallman Avenue Northwest, will house an expanded emergency department and medical imaging center, primary-care clinic and specialty physicians.

The Medical Office Building is part of a movement by Swedish/Ballard to revitalize its campus and meet the healthcare needs of the growing Ballard community into the future.

"The community now has visible evidence of a long-term commitment to Ballard, which was not the case before," said Dr. Rayburn Lewis, executive director and senior medical director of Swedish/Ballard during a June 23 tour of the half-completed Medical Office Building.

Highlights of the tour included:

  • A wall of windows that will light the main entry off Tallman Avenue.
  • First-floor emergency department rooms with dual doors to accommodate trauma cases (though Lewis joked they will mostly handle sprained ankles and LEGOs in children's noses).
  • First floor X-ray rooms.
  • A designated elevator used exclusively for MRI and CT scan patients.
  • A separate power source for the Medical Office Building if something happens to the main campus power.

Swedish/Ballard draws patients from Shoreline to Queen Anne to the edge of Lake Washington. The emergency department alone serves 20,000 patients per year.

The Medical Office Building will give more space to the emergency department as well as be a new home for the Swedish Physicians Ballard Primary Care Clinic, which is currently located in the Ballard Building at 2208 N.W. Market St.

Lewis said Swedish/Ballard's current emergency department will not close during its transition to the new building in November. MRI and CT scans will continue uninterrupted as well, he said.

Swedish/Ballard is in the process of deciding what will move into the former emergency department space. Lewis said there are many services bulging at the seams right now and in need of more space.

In addition to the Medical Office Building, Swedish/Ballard opened its Swedish Community Medical Home in 2009 and began Swedish Employer Medical Assistance earlier this year.

Swedish/Ballard will be forming a community advisory council in the near future to oversee its expansion and future plans.

The expansion of Swedish/Ballard, especially the Medical Office Building, will serve as a magnet to attract new services and specialists to the area, Lewis said.

Lewis said that sentiment was backed up when Swedish Medical Center decided to located a tomotherapy unit for cancer treatment on the Ballard campus several months after Swedish/Ballard announced the construction of the Medical Office Building.

The tomotherapy unit, the only unit of its kind in King County, will be located in a new building across Tallman Avenue. The building will most likely be two stories and 4,000 square feet and will open by January 2011.

A public open house for the Medical Office Building is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 6, and Swedish/Ballard plans to start regular operations in the building Nov. 9.

Click the image above for a photo tour of the under-construction Swedish/Ballard Medical Office Building.

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The grand opening it's

The grand opening it's getting closer, i can't wait to see how the new building will look when it is going to be finished. It seems to be spacious, such a construction project was indeed needed by the growing population, no one would to have to wait for treatment while being in the emergency room. More space, means there will be more doctors to take care of those patients.
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